Hong Leong Bank (HLB) has assigned half of its capital expenditure (capex), amounting to RM115 million, for the financial year ending 30 June 2019 for its digital initiatives. According to Bernama, CEO and MD Domenic Fuda said the "huge allocation" was in line with strong customer adoption of its digital platform.
The bank also predicts strong continued growth in banking transactions, as it boosts its products and service offerings on digital platforms. HLB had allocated RM30 million of its capex to convert 50 out of its 250 existing branches to the new digital format, which would lead to savings in operational costs.
Fuda said half of the outlet's space was previously dedicated for backroom operations such as deposit machines, but this will be reduced to 25% with the new digital format, offering more space for the customer servicing area. He also highlighted the importance of accommodating consumers' needs and desires, due to the service and financial landscape changing rapidly with the increasing use of technology. As such, it decided to adopt the approach of re-imagining banking by embedding digital considerations throughout the bank.
Meanwhile, the bank recently launched its Digital Day 2018 and introduced the HLB Digital Day AR challenge. The challenge uses the new Facebook augmented reality (AR) platform to showcase the digital services and products that are currently available and are under development, to engage and reward consumers in a fun way.
The bank will be releasing seven of its own Facebook AR filters on a periodic basis until 31 July. The filters show HLB's digital tools such as facial recognition, payment request, AI chatbot and Pay Mobile, as well as an overall filter that reflects how HLB is making banking simpler for consumers. It also lined up a string of special promotions for all its key banking products during the Digital Day campaign, which will run from 7 to 13 July.
Recently, HLB launched a suite of digital business and financing solutions to support SMEs for their day-to-day business operations. Earlier this year, Celcom Axiata’s CMO Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin joined Hong Leong Bank as chief marketing and communications officer.